Backblast Area Clear
“I shot one of those,” I say to Dennis, pointing  
at the screen. It’s a light anti-tank weapon,  
a LAW, long fiberglass tube, next to weightless.  
I was 17 when I picked it up,  
drill sergeant beside me on the firing line,  
an instructor guiding this gigantic straw onto  
my shoulder. Even the small-size uniform  
looked ridiculous on me. So I have  
the LAW on my shoulder and it feels good.  
Not like the M-60, which was like dancing   
with a barrel of oil. The LAW was nice.  
A little plastic scope pops up, with red lines  
and a circle. Downrange, there’s a huge  
hunk of metal that looks like a tank.  
I take off the front cover, a black plastic cap.  
Take off the back cover, another plastic cap.  
Both swing free. This thing is like a Pixie Stick  
it’s so light. If I’m ever in a war, I am  
definitely carrying one of these, I think.  
It’s pale green, somewhere between moss  
and sand. The instructor loads the thing and now, 
it’s a loaded LAW, still not heavy, but lethal.  
“Pretend it’s someone you hate,” drill sergeant says.  
I’m 17. Firing line clear. Backblast area clear.  
Cheek, chin, against the tube. Line up the scopes.  
The trigger is under a squishy rubber cap,  
not a rifle trigger at all. There’s no one  
in the tank. Though I’m sure there was noise,  
I don’t remember it. Just the joy of being  
on target, some metal crumbling downrange.  
Then it was another girl’s turn.  
“Did you hit any helicopters?” Dennis asks. 
“Don’t be silly,” I say. “They don’t let you  
shoot helicopters.” But of course, they do. 
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